1940: Amedeo Guillet on the Sudan/Eritrean Lowlands with his Amharic Cavalry Bande

This website is dedicated to Amedeo Guillet (1909-2010) and has been created by his biographer and friend Sebastian O’Kelly.

The site is for all admirers of that extraordinary, kind and giving man, and for those who are curious about his achievements.

Amedeo was almost certainly the last man alive to have led cavalry in war, and certainly the last to lead a cavalry charge against the British army.

That action on January 21 1941 at Keru on the Eritrean Lowlands remained, for those who witnessed it, the most vivid memory of the entire war. It is recorded in numerous memoires, and in both British and Italian military archives.

Amedeo’s guerrilla war that followed the general surrender of Italian East Africa, in which he was assisted by his beautiful, gun-totting lover Khadija, is less well documented. He fought on to tie down as many British soldiers as he could in order to help the Italian cause in the Libyan desert, at that point reinforced by Rommel and the Afrika Korps.

In spite of my efforts at balance, the Italian press insist on referring to Amedeo as “Italy’s Lawrence of Arabia”, and, in fact, the Rizzoli paperback of my book does exactly the same thing on the cover blurb.

Italy’s Amedeo Guillet is quite sufficient, I would have thought.

Readers are warmly invited to leave posts on the website and to upload photographs that they feel are relevant.

E cari lettori italiani sono pregati di lasciare commenti anche in italiano, come vogliono.

The photographs on this site were found by the author in dusty old photo albums at Amedeo’s house in Kentstown, Co Meath, Ireland.

The coloured photographs of Eritrea were taken in March 2000 either by the author or by Rosangela Barone, the former director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin.

All those who loved Amedeo owe Rosangela a huge debt of gratitude in caring for him during the last ten years of his life, and for ensuring that he could die peacefully and at home in Rome in June 2010, aged 101.

Sebastian O’Kelly

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